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Choosing hospital based on stillbirth/neonatal rates

(16 Posts)
Sophia1984 Sun 07-Feb-16 12:41:32

Hi everyone,

I've just, to my surprise, found out that Newcastle Hospitals have a worse than average rate for stillbirth and neonatal death. Northumbria Hospitals are better. Would I be crazy to change where I plan to give birth because of this? I can get to Newcastle more easily by public transport (we don't have a car), and am planning to move even closer before the birth, and the midwife was great at the ultrasound, but this has me worried..

Sophia1984 Sun 07-Feb-16 12:42:52

Oh just to add, my community midwife is still in Northumberland, so all midwife appointments are here - it's just the scans I'm having in Newcastle..

Wolfiefan Sun 07-Feb-16 12:43:29

I'm no expert at all. It might be though that some hospitals deal with higher risk pregnancies so their rates may be higher.

Akire Sun 07-Feb-16 12:46:46

Agree different hospitals have different services so if they get the sickest and smallest then their rates are going to reflect this.

Still births are no ones fault in 99% of case only rare cases where a midwife or doctor fails to acts and results in a death. Do they have special ward or unit that deals with this sort of thing so used more?

SpecialStains Sun 07-Feb-16 12:56:17

I live less than a mile from my local hospital, but as the maternity services have a history of not being fab, and have a high rate of c sections/forceps delivery. I'm going to the hospital that's a 40min drive away instead, different trust, bigger mat department, more specialist staff. I'm still using local community midwives, but the booking in, scans and birth all take place at the further away hospital.

That said, dh drives. I'd go wherever you feel happiest. Can you get a taxi or friend to drive you to hospital for the birth?

Gunting Sun 07-Feb-16 13:01:07

Is Northumbria hospital the new one off the a69?

I think many stillbirths aren't the fault of the hospital and more circumstantial.

Also will you be using public transport rather than a taxi? wansbeck maternity services are meant to be good and it's 20 mins from Northumbria hospital.

WiIdfire Sun 07-Feb-16 13:05:45

You need to consider that they might have the highest stillbirth rate because they have the best care, and all the high risk pregnancies go there. Do they have a specialist neonatal unit - this might be why they have a high neonatal death rate. A nursing home will have a zero stillbirth rate, but you wouldnt give birth there. You need to consider more than just the numbers.

StitchesInTime Sun 07-Feb-16 13:23:50

As Wildfire said - they may get a higher share of the high risk births because they've got better specialist care, which will skew the statistics.

The RVI, for instance - as I understand it, their NICU takes the most premature and sickest newborns from hospitals all over the north east because they've got the best facilities for caring for those babies. Unfortunately those babies are also at a much higher risk of neonatal death than a healthy full term babies.
And I know some women who had high risk pregnancies, and were referred to the RVI to give birth from Teesside, so again, if the RVI's getting a higher share of high risk births, that's going to skew the figures.

So anyway, not necessarily as simple as the numbers might suggest.

StitchesInTime Sun 07-Feb-16 13:25:44

(The RVI is the biggest hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for anyone unfamiliar with the area)

Sophia1984 Sun 07-Feb-16 13:31:22

All good points :-) Thanks everyone. I'll be using a taxi for when I go into labour/come home, but for scans and stuff it's much easier to get to Newcastle.

Iwonderif Sun 07-Feb-16 17:03:37

It's also not just about what level of care they offer even though this will make numbers higher but also how large their maternity unit is as a whole. My town has one huge hospital so the number of pregnant women going to them is very high but also has one of the best neonatal units in the country. My son died shortly after birth 10 years ago this year. No fault of anyone's. Didn't stop me returning with my other pregnancies.

All the very best OP. Understandably these things nee to be weighed up and it's not pleasant to read about your nearest hospital in this way.

Shadow1986 Sun 07-Feb-16 17:06:55

I wouldn't base my decision on this. One of my local hospitals has a higher death rate of babies but that's because it has the best neonatal unit therefore most problematic cases will be sent there than other hospitals. If that makes sense....

What2 Sun 07-Feb-16 17:26:24

It's not altogether relevant but I suggest you Have a look at The Naked Surgeon LINK HERE. It's a fascinating look at the scandal that hit Bristol cardiologists and a look at how statistics about outcomes can be useful and not so useful in medicine.

There are plenty of articles about online.

I think you shouldn't make a decision about where to have your baby based on rates of stillborn.

katienana Sun 07-Feb-16 17:29:48

The RVI is an excellent hospital, I had my ds there in 2012 and am going to have my second there in May. As PP have said the RVI gets all the high risk cases.

DixieNormas Sun 07-Feb-16 17:29:50

our hospital has a high rate of stillbirth/neonatal death because the specialise in very small prem babies. The often have them from other parts if the country as many hospitals arnt equipped to look after baby's born before 30 weeks

SpecialStains Sun 07-Feb-16 17:33:27

Agree with posts regarding if its a specialist centre.

What are the CQC reports for the two different centres like? My local in either inadequate/special measures and it was in national news recently how heavily they rely on agency staff, whereas the further away hospital I'm using is CQC rated good.

It would make my life so much easier to use my local hospital, but since the results of the last investigation came out in 2015, not much has changed culture wise, I just wouldnt feel at all comfortable giving birth there.

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